Being a small state, Delaware did not muster a great number of formations during the war. Nine infantry regiments, a cavalry regiment, some independent companies, along with a couple batteries of artillery. Previously, we detailed what amounted to two and a half batteries of artillerymen from Delaware seeing service during the third quarter of 1863. By December 1863, that was down to an even two batteries… and even with that, only one of them was actually credited as an artillery battery doing artillery things:
1st Light Battery: Reporting at Camp Barry, District of Columbia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. After duty in New York dealing with the draft riot crisis, the battery returned to Washington, DC in mid-September. They were assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction. Captain Benjamin Nields commanded (for whom the battery is often identified). The battery remained there until February 1864, when it was dispatched to the Department of the Gulf.
Crossley’s Half-Battery of heavy artillery, a militia unit brought into service in response to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania, mustered out at the end of September. That leaves only Ahl’s Heavy Artillery Company, which was actually listed on the previous quarter summary, to discuss. Though listed as heavy artillery, Ahl’s company was in reality a guard force for prisoners held at Fort Delaware. Immigrants and galvanized Confederates dominated the ranks. Given the nature of Ahl’s service and assignments, I can understand the exclusion from the summaries.
Moving on to the ammunition reported, we skip past the smoothbore columns to the Hotchkiss:
1st Battery: 3 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
1st Battery: 299 Hotchkiss percussion fuse shell, 166 Hotchiss case (bullet) shell, and 142 Hotchkiss canister for 3-inch rifles.
Moving on to the Schenkl columns:
1st Battery: 487 Schenkl case shot for 3-inch rifles.
For small arms reported:
1st Battery: Seventeen army revolvers and twenty-eight horse artillery sabers.
Now to the cartridge bags, powder, fuses, and primers:
1st Battery: 90 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
1st Battery: 242 cartridges for army revolvers, 401 friction primers, 50 yards of slow match, and 140 percussion caps for pistols.
The Delaware artillerists under Niels had ample time to get their drill correct. And they would put that to good use in the following year. Their luggage would very shortly have tags for New Orleans and various river ports on the Red River and Mississippi River.
Working in reverse alphabetical order through the C’s, as that’s how the clerks at the Ordnance Department recorded things, we come to California. Formally speaking, no batteries from California mustered into Federal service. But as we’ve detailed in previous quarters, infantry and cavalry regiments from California received artillery to support their duties at frontier posts. And those are reflected in the summaries. Furthermore, there were a handful of militia batteries, not mustered into Federal service, but for whom we have very solid documentation to discuss. That said, here’s the California section for the fourth quarter of 1863, ending in December of that year (note that all three lines indicate receipt dates in February 1864.. prompt considering the distances involved):
Company H, 3rd California Infantry: Reporting at Camp Connor, Idaho with one 12-pdr mountain howitzer. This entry line is a re-appearance of a cannon first reported in the second quarter of 1863 (being left out in the third quarter returns). I would suggest that mountain howitzer was with the company through the summer and fall. The lacking paperwork aside, Captain David Black commanded Company H. Looking through returns and CSRs, we find an annotation that “1 Mountain Howitzer turned over to Capt. Black, 3d Infy. C.V. en route to Soda Springs” in May 1863. And on May 23 of that year, Black established Camp Connor there at Soda Springs, Idaho. The larger context here is that Black’s command was part of Brigadier-General Patrick Edward Connor’s operations aimed to secure the Idaho Territory against any potential Confederate incursions. But in retrospect, was more so aimed at suppressing Indian tribes in that territory.
Company B, 1st Battalion California Mountaineers: At Fort Gaston, California, but with no cannon reported. Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen G. Whipple commanded this battalion, which served in the Humbolt District, in Northern California, protecting settlements from several hostile tribes in the “Two-Years War” phase of the Bald Hills Wars. This return should list at least one mountain howitzer, as one such appears in a report of action at the close of December that year. An expedition out of Fort Gaston came upon a fortified and armed group of Indians, about twenty-five miles from the post, on December 25, 1863. Whipple dispatched Captain George W. Ousley, of Company B, with a detachment and a mountain howitzer. “After the arrival of Captain Ousley [on December 26] a fire of shell was kept up as long as the ammunition lasted, doing some damage to the rancherias, but not dislodging the Indians, who had covered ways through which they passed from house to house.” While not effective in action, we can thus confirm the presence of a cannon with the battalion at that post.
Company C, 5th California Infantry: No location given, but with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. Colonel George W. Bowie commanded this regiment, which served detached to several posts in the Department of New Mexico, mostly in the District of Arizona, at this time of the war. Company C, under Captain John S. Thayer, served at Mesilla, in the New Mexico Territory (though is sometimes listed as Las Cruces on some reports), protecting the approaches to El Paso. Specifically regarding the howitzers, Special Orders No. 44 from the District of Arizona Headquarters detailed, “Company C, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, will take post at Mesilla upon the arrival at Las Cruces of Company E, same regiment. Capt. John S. Thayer, commanding Company C, will take charge of and receipt for the howitzer battery now in the hands of the acting ordnance officer, and have that company ready for efficient service with the same as soon as practicable.”
Perhaps more than I normally provide for the administrative details. But given the obscurity of service for these details, it is important to recall the context of their service.
Moving to the ammunition reported, we have smoothbore rounds to account for:
Company H, 3rd California: 36 shell and 36 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
Company H, 3rd California: 24 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
I’ve posted all the other pages to Flickr for review. But the only sheet with any more tallies is page 7:
Company H, 3rd California: 25 pounds of cannon powder.
Company C, 5th California Infantry: 50 pounds of cannon powder and 250 friction primers.
Before closing the book on California, we should consider the militia batteries from the state. Normally I don’t bring them up in relation to the Ordnance Summaries, as these were not active duty batteries and thus fall outside the scope of study here. But in the case of California, I find the militia service fairly well documented… and … well… interesting to a degree.
Two California militia batteries were in existence at the end of December 1863. The Washington Light Artillery of Napa, Napa County was organized on July 31, 1863, with Captain Nathan McCoombs in command. However, not until February of 1864 would Napa’s Washington Light Artillery receive arms and equipment (financed by bond).
The National Light Artillery also formed in July 1863, but in Santa Clara County. S. C. Houghton was named Captain after a continuous election. And rumors persisted about Confederate sentiments among the ranks. Yet, the battery was mustered into state service on October 1. This battery would not receive much support, but had a record of regular drill. I cannot determine what, if any, ordnance was issued to the battery.
Always a bit perplexing the disregard for alphabetical order among the clerks at the Ordnance Department in 1863. But it is what you make of it. Instead of California following Alabama and Arkansas, it was Connecticut. And next Colorado.
I detailed the story of the Colorado Battery, also known as McLain’s Independent Battery, in the last quarter. Recall the battery was “un mustered” by order of the War Department in September 1863. This was justified as the battery had not been organized with official War Department authority. They had cannons. And they were using them. But they were not supposed to be a battery. However, by December, the state was given authority to raise a battery. The governor directed such shortly thereafter. Though, Captain William D. McLain’s appointment was not official until January the following year. A convoluted story that perhaps a historian with more background on the American West can better detail.
What I am allowed to focus upon, however, are two summary statement lines, indicating a battery not officially in existence was indeed in service… and serving by sections!
1st [Colorado] Light Battery: At Camp Weld, Colorado Territory, with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The return is posted February 5, 1864.
Section, [1st Colorado] Light Battery: At Denver, Colorado Territory, according to a March 23, 1864 return. No cannon indicated.
At the start of the quarter, other ranking officers of the battery were Lieutenants George S. Esyre and Horace W. Baldwin. Of course, when the “de mustering” took place, all were left without rank. Esyre was discharged at Camp Weld on October 20. His commission restored in February, he was assigned recruiting duty in Denver. Baldwin had a more “exciting” service interruption which I will touch upon in the closing. A December department return indicates 1st Sergeant William B. Moore (erroneously identified as a Lieutenant) was in command of a section then at Fort Garland.
But the main battery listing, in the department returns for December, has the headquarters at Camp Weld under a Lieutenant Chaney M. Crossitt. Crossitt was actually the Commissary Sergeant of the 1st Colorado Cavalry. Briefly, from October through December, returns have him detailed in “command” of the Colorado Battery. I would think as a practical matter, with a handful of cannon at the post it made sense to assign them to someone (and grant that someone commensurate rank with the responsibility) until this matter with the War Department was settled. So Crossitt had some cannon, even though there was no battery, administratively, at the end of December.
Those administrative details in order, somewhat, we can turn to the listing of ammunition, supplies, and small arms. I’ve posted those to Flickr, but we can skip forward to smoothbore ammunition:
1st Colorado Battery: 90 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
We can skip past all the remainder of the pages to the small arms:
1st Colorado Battery: 38 Sharps carbines, 9 Colt navy revolvers, and 76 cavalry sabers.
Section at Denver: 15 Springfield muskets and 8 cavalry sabers.
That was all the items reported. And we might close this post with that short summary. But I would be remiss without at least noting Horace Baldwin’s activities that October. As mentioned above, the War Department issued orders to disband the battery on September 28. Those would not arrive at Fort Garland until around October 15. And Baldwin was out in the field, having left the post on October 12 with a detachment of men accompanying the tracker / scout Thomas Tate Tobin to search for Felipe Espinosa, a rather ruthless murderer causing problems in the territory. I’ll let Baldwin’s official report lay out the “official” details:
I left Fort Garland at 11 o’clock a.m. on the 12th day of October, 1863, and proceeded up the road toward the Sangre de Cristo Pass, to a spot in the road where a man, supposed to be Espanoza, had committed certain outrages a day or two previous. Camped near this Spot the first night. Next morning we discovered the trail of the party or parties who were supposed to have committed such outrages as were known to have been committed, from the fact that two mules had been shot and one carriage burned, the remains of which were then lying in the first-mentioned spot in the road, about 18 miles from Fort Garland, Colo., on the Sangre de Cristo Creek. We followed this trail until it led us into the main traveled road, when and where we were obliged to leave it. Going again to the ruins in the road, we took a new direction, directly opposite to the one we had taken the day before. We followed along the mountains on the north side of the road until we struck the range of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Finding no signs of importance, we followed along this range in a southern direction, entering the Great Cañon at its mouth, near the main road. Here we discovered a moccasin track, which we followed a number of miles, but left it, as signs indicated that it was old and of no importance to us. Upon leaving this cañon, about 5 miles from its mouth, the trail of two men (or man and boy) was found. From signs it was evident that these persons had either led or driven two cattle along that spot not to exceed two days before. Following this trail through an almost impassable fall of dead timber a distance of about 5 miles, a number of crows were seen flying over a spot on the side of, and near the top of, a lofty mountain, indicating a camp or carrion near; two magpies were also seen flying about near this spot. Being convinced that a camp was near, I sent a few men with the horses which were being led (several men being dismounted and in advance) to the rear and behind a hill, that they might not be seen, or their heavy tramp over dead timber might not be heard, in case the object of our search should be near at hand. Thomas Tobin (guide) and 4 soldiers were in advance. The horses were scarcely out of sight, behind the hill, when a shot was fired from Tobin’s rifle, he having approached the camp and discovered a man (Mexican) sitting on a log at the spot indicated by crows, &c., and fired, wounding the man. A boy was at this time seen to run from a spot near where the man was sitting. He was instantly shot. The man, Espanoza, had dodged behind a log or logs, which had been thrown up as a sort of defense. While lying in this position behind the logs he was fired at several times by advancing party (soldiers). From this sort of defense Espanoza fired two shots at soldiers, but without effect. He then raised his body enough to be visible, when he was pierced by many balls, killing him instantly. The heads of the two dead persons were severed from the bodies and taken to our first night’s camp, on Sangre de Cristo Creek, about 18 miles from Fort Garland. Started before daylight from this camp on morning of the 16th of October, 1863, for Fort Garland, arriving at the latter place at 9 a.m. same date. We delivered to you the heads of the two persons as soon as we arrived.
(OR, Series I, Volume XXII, Part 1, Serial 32, pages 704-5.)
Duty more befitting a US Marshal than an artillerist! The desperado was betrayed by the magpies!
Of course, upon his triumphant return, Baldwin was informed that his battery, and thus his commission, ceased to exist. So he was out of a job. But apparently he didn’t just quit the post. Later in January, Baldwin was brought up on charges. Major Jacob Downing, inspector of the district and officer of the 1st Colorado Cavalry insisted that Baldwin had served as officer of the day and performed other official duties after the date his commission was revoked. Serious charges and a court martial followed on February 20, 1864. The charges were dismissed, with witnesses including Colonel John Chivington and post commander, and 1st Colorado Infantry Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel F. Tappan speaking on Baldwin’s behalf. (And leading me to believe there was more than just a simple disagreement in play, the next day charges were brought by Tappan against Downing for insubordination…. read into it what you may.)
Baldwin returned to duty with the newly re-formed battery. And he would serve with it for the rest of the war, with breaks in service for recruiting duty.
As for the head of Espinosa? Rumor is the head was put in a jar of alcohol and displayed at different businesses around Denver. Sometime in the 20th century when a reporter sought to track it down, everyone seemed to have seen the head but nobody could cite the whereabouts. Lost to history? Or is that macabre artifact sitting in a Denver attic waiting rediscovery?
As of December 1863, when the fourth quarter ordnance returns came due, the small state of Connecticut had mustered and sent to war two light batteries. A third would form in the summer and fall of 1864. Furthermore, the state had two heavy artillery regiments in service. From those heavies, two batteries (or companies, if you prefer) were employed as mounted siege artillery detailed to the Army of the Potomac. These were the long serving Batteries B and M, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, the last vestiges of the “siege train” originally deployed for the Peninsula Campaign. Thus, for the fourth quarter summary, we find four lines – two light batteries and two “in the field” siege batteries, reporting
1st Light Battery: On Folly Island, South Carolina, with six 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Alfred P. Rockwell remained in command, with the battery still assigned to Tenth Corps, Department of the South. The battery had been in reserve, on Folly Island, through most of the Morris Island campaign. And remained there during the Second Major Bombardment of Fort Sumter.
2nd Light Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John W. Sterling commanded this much traveled battery. Having seen action at Gettysburg (as one of the reserve batteries pulled out of the Washington defenses in June) and then sent to New York to suppress riots, the battery returned to Camp Barry in October. In January 1864, the battery would move again. This time by boat to New Orleans and the Department of the Gulf.
Battery B, 1st Heavy Artillery: At Brandy Station, Virginia, with four 4.5-inch siege rifles. Captain Albert F. Brooker commanded this battery assigned (as of the end of December) to the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac. The battery was in reserve at Second Rappahannock Station. And thence went into winter quarters near Brandy Station.
Battery M, 1st Heavy Artillery: At Brandy Station, Virginia, with four 4.5-inch siege rifles. Also in the Second Volunteer Brigade, Captain Franklin A. Pratt’s battery participated in the action at Kelly’s Ford (November 7) and the Mine Run Campaign.
Expanding on the mention of the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, the remainder of the regiment was in DeRussy’s Division, Defenses South of the Potomac, Twenty-second Corps. Colonel Henry L. Abbot commanded. Their assignment was to the Alexandria section of the line. Abbot corresponded frequently with Brigadier-General Henry Hunt in regard to artillery matters. Later, as the Overland Campaign began, the 1st Connecticut transitioned back into the army’s siege artillery and readied for use (as would be the case) around Richmond and Petersburg.
I’ll summarize the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery here so as to save a little space when we discuss the heavy artillery at the end of the quarter. The regiment originally organized as the 19th Connecticut Infantry during the summer and fall of 1862. The regiment, still as infantry, was assigned to the defenses of Washington in September of that year. Their assignment was on the south side of the Potomac. By the fall of 1863, the 2nd was brigaded with the 1st Connecticut (above). Given the nature of their duty, the regiment’s designation changed to “heavy artillery” on November 23, 1863 (though several documents suggest the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery designation was used during the summer of 1863). Colonel Leverett W. Wessells commanded the regiment from its formation. But in September 1863 he resigned. Lieutenant-Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg, who’d been the acting commander for much of the year, was then promoted to the colonelcy, effective January 24, 1864. Kellogg, unfortunately, would not see the end of that year. But that story, and the 2nd Connecticut’s service as one of the “heavies” fighting as infantry in the Overland Campaign, is for a later discussion.